Robert Downey Jr. has cemented himself as the consensus pick for probably the coolest guy in Hollywood, in large part thanks to a couple of iconic roles he has embodied in the last five years: Tony Stark aka Iron Man, and Sherlock Holmes. These characters call for an overabundance of charisma, and such a quality comes in massive quantity with Downey. This has bled into his personal character, the public character of Robert Downey Jr., whose stardom is now as massive as Tony Stark’s and whose egocentric persona is almost indistinguishable from the characters he plays. Whether he’s dramatically taking off his sunglasses, making people aware of just how much more good looking he has become with age, or any of his other gif-worthy moments, he finds a way to be entertaining and amusing in just about every situation.
The downside of his intensified interest in these two iconic roles, to which he’s devoted his work almost exclusively since 2008, is that he hasn’t often been able to demonstrate just how much range he actually has as an actor. He got his start in the 1980s, with memorable roles in movies like Weird Science and Less than Zero, showing audiences how easily he could transition from one definitive character to the next. As he’s matured, his talents have progressed considerably, although he still has a tendency to continue to inhabit his characters long after leaving the work behind. He’s one performer who doesn’t seem to really let his characters go.
Here are 5 performances that really exhibit Robert Downey Jr.’s range of abilities in making his on-screen characters every bit as believable and entertaining as the one the Iron Man 3 star plays in real life.
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